That is one seriously beautiful Mauser 98.
OK, obviously it is a custom rifle, built on a Mauser 98 action, possibly military in origin. I say possibly because even civilain Mausers made before WW2 had thumb notches (stripper clips were the "speed loaders" of that time). The magazine is what points to a military rifle, with the lever installed to open the floorplate rather than a plunger button. Heat treating on wartime military actions was suspect, but not the pre-war civilian models, which could explain why the receiver and furniture were color case hardened (of course, it could be for purely decorative reasons). Engraving is typical of post-WW2 engraving, fewer oak leaves and boars, more into lines and scrolls.
The barrel has an American rather than the traditional European profile (straight/cone/straight), and is chambered for a US cartridge (not metric designation). After WW2, the US cartridges were becoming more common in Europe due to the influence of a large US Army presence in Europe, and if this was presented to an American official it would make sense.
From the stock design, I would date it from the 1960s (the Oberndorf and Bavarian "hogback" stocks were being modified because people were frequently using scopes). That looks like a pre-war or immediately post-war scope (Jena was in East Germany following the partitioning after WW2. Zeiss aus Jena was prevented from using the Zeiss trademark after a lawsuit), mounted in the common European manner (claw mount sockets in saddle mounts).
All in all, a very beautiful rifle. Value is hard to estimate. Even though it is a presentation rifle, it appears to have no engraved stock shields or other dedications, and without documentation it is just a very nice custom rifle. I wish it were mine, I would treasure it, and I would advise you to do the same.
Last edited by Scorch; October 1, 2010 at 07:10 PM.